When schools are forced to make tough budget and programming decisions, oftentimes they look first at non-academic classes and athletic programs. At Harrisburg Academy, we not only want to maintain our athletic programs, but we want to continue to offer more opportunities for our student-athletes because these experiences contribute to our mission of educating the “whole child.”
Learning through sports begins very early at the Academy. The school is committed to offering physical education (P.E.) classes beginning in Early Childhood. In Lower School, students have P.E. each day; Wellness and Fitness Classes are scheduled throughout the daily cycle days in the Middle and Upper Schools, as well. The Academy also offers no-cut interscholastic sports team opportunities in 6th through 12th grade and club sports in kindergarten through 8th grade. We have recently renewed a cooperative sponsorship with Trinity High School to include eight sports (meaning that our students will have the opportunity to participate in sports we might not offer but Trinity does — and vice-versa).
Recently, I read an opinion piece in the editorial section of the Patriot-News Editorial that stated that “academics are more important than athletics.” The value of athletics is undermined by this statement! Being on a team plays a critical role in the education of the whole child. Lessons on the court and playing field are just as important as the lessons in a book, and in no way are they separate. Graduates often reflect on and credit their playing days to the success they have built in their lives today as doctors, lawyers, business professionals, and more.
Moreover, I see time and again with our alumni that student-athletes are high achievers in the sense that they never are satisfied with a mediocre performance. Teamwork development and hands-on practice complete this set of non-academic skills and supplement the academic aptitude students earn in the classroom. Utilizing a strong work ethic and mental toughness, focused student-athletes develop well-polished traits desired by organizations worldwide. They have an ultimate desire for success in the work force by fulfilling the challenge, competing, winning!
A scholar athlete does not become successful by accident; he/she trains in the classroom and on the court/athletic field to achieve his or her best —and that is why athletics continue to be an important element to the success of Harrisburg Academy’s students and graduates.